Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
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26-05-2013, 01:30 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
Reading a few of these posts and thinking about the nature of indoctrination. It is an ugly business, but I wonder how much of it really has to do with religion itself. I mean sure, religion is undoubtedly a rich source for all types of misogyny, bigotry, shaming, etc., but what I think I'm seeing more than anything is simply unchecked, blind groupthink.

And sure, religion definitely is one of the biggest proponents of blind groupthink, but a lot of the behavior I see coming from the parents is hateful and ugly (not quite what the religion is suppose to be teaching) and always seems to stem from how they themselves were raised.

In many of these types of situations, you hear that the parent never did actually hold a strong belief in the dogmas of whatever religion in the first place. They simply used it as a springboard or an excuse to reanimate the hateful/hurtful emotions that they themselves were inundated with as a helpless child.

Breaking free from religion and the subsequent mindfuck that it creates is a major plus for skeptical thinking, but I would hope that beyond religion skeptical thinking would empower a person to be able to examine every facet of their life, and turn away from those that would cause them or loved ones undeserved hurt or confusion.

I believe that a critical examination of one's life (if done honestly) will inevitably lead to a deconversion from religion. Someone may not be able to question their religion right off, but if they can question themselves, their image of god might not be too far behind.

Side note regarding the OP: I was raised in a very religious household, dad was a preacher, mom was more devout than he but did her damage with a guilt trip. She was very good at it. But I had a relatively normal upbringing. Besides the indoctrination they were very loving and to this day we have a great relationship. (they don't know about my atheism yet, however. we'll see what happens when that day comes)

edit: scully, just saw your last post as soon as I got done posting this one. Exactly what I'm talking about. Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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26-05-2013, 01:38 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
(26-05-2013 12:02 PM)Scully Wrote:  For almost 15 years, I was able to stomp out the embers of curiosity and doubt. And I was actually content in my life.
Just reading that first sentence is so painful to me that I'm relieved for you with the second. I am humbled by your strength to endure.
You made it out. Hug Only the good part matters.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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26-05-2013, 01:45 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
I was raised in a Catholic family. My father had been raised in a fairly religious family. He went to parochial school and was even an altar boy. My mother converted to Catholicism. She was raised Protestant, but I'm not sure what denomination and I don't think her family really practiced their faith. She decided for herself when she reached her 20's that there "must be something more" and went looking; finally settling on Catholicism. No

We went to church every Sunday and us kids to CCD class on Saturday up until confirmation. We occasionally discussed what was talked about at church in further detail when we got home, but otherwise religion wasn't particularly pushed. To my parents' credit, what they pushed was for us to think for ourselves in general, not just about religion.

I frankly had little interest in religion beyond merely believing until I was about 17. Then I met a friend who was Catholic and talked about it a lot. That kindled my interest and I began researching and learning more about Catholicism, but always with the presumption of its correctness, so never with an open mind. Dodgy Soon I was even considering whether I wanted to become a priest.

About 3 years later, I met a girl at college who became the single greatest factor in my apostasy. It wasn't anything she did or said, but more the fact of having my first serious relationship with a girl. While we were dating, my interest in religion slowly faded, although I didn't recognize that at the time. We broke up after several months because she had already been committed to transferring to another college before we met and she decided she didn't want to maintain a long distance relationship. When that happened, it was the perfect time for me to return to religion because now I had a lot more time on my hands again - except I suddenly realized that I didn't want to. In fact, I had no interest in religion at all.

I was initially scared and bewildered wondering how I went from considering the priesthood to having no interest at all. I thought it could be the work of Satan and even prayed to get my faith and interest back. I never did. Looking back I don't think I ever really had as much faith as I once thought. I think religion filled an emotional need and my girlfriend was able to fill it just as well in a way that lasted even after she was gone.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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26-05-2013, 01:46 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
(26-05-2013 01:18 PM)Scully Wrote:  
(26-05-2013 12:48 PM)cjs Wrote:  Geez Scully, I'm sorry for what you had to go through.

In fairness, it wasn't *all* bad. I understand my parents' desire to give us what they considered to be a proper upbringing. Having kids of my own made it clear that I had a responsibility of teaching them to be good citizens, although my husband and I made a conscious choice to keep religion and emotional blackmail out of the equation. That's not to say that I *never* occasionally offered a cookie in exchange for appropriate behaviour or to quell inappropriate behaviour. (guilty as charged!)

FWIW, it seems to me that people gravitate to belief systems that permit them to express their fucked-up-ness with impunity, whether it's sexism, outright misogyny, racism, homophobia, extreme control, or whatever. There are clues in my family history generations earlier that lead me to believe that the JWs appealed to my parents on a subconscious level because their beliefs reinforced attitudes that my parents already held. Even without the JW influence, emotional blackmail would have been a currency that my parents preferred to use in their parenting.

I applaud your raising your kids so they can use reason and empathy to base their choices on.

Agree with your second paragraph.
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26-05-2013, 01:55 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
(26-05-2013 12:02 PM)Scully Wrote:  My mother found the misogyny quite distasteful too, although she rationalized it as being part of the original curse on Eve, where men were granted the privilege of dominating women, and she decided that it was her lot in life to take those lumps like a good little martyr so that eventually she could "Live Forever In Paradise On Earth".

I need to clarify this. My father never raised a hand or his voice to my mother. The misogyny was solely from the point of view of the doctrine whereby women were expected to "be in submission" to their husbands.

In the JW organizational structure, women are not allowed to offer public prayer or teach from the platform. When in a private setting (for example, when conducting a bible study where an unbaptized male JW is present) the baptized JW female must cover her head, usually with a handkerchief or scarf, but a kleenex will do. If there is a baptized male present, even if he's a minor child, he is considered to be capable of "taking the lead" and the baptized JW female is expected to defer to him. (And then, ironically, she gets to drive him home because he isn't old enough to have a driver's licence! LMAO!)

. . . all the gods were stories we told the children to make them behave. ~ Thoros of Myr (Game of Thrones, Episode 3:06)
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26-05-2013, 02:00 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
Well, it seems The WatchTower is looking more and more like Sharia Law to me every minute. Maybe they should compare notes. Consider Or maybe they already did.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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26-05-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
(26-05-2013 02:00 PM)kim Wrote:  Well, it seems The WatchTower is looking more and more like Sharia Law to me every minute. Maybe they should compare notes. Consider Or maybe they already did.

Aren't they just different revelations of the same pathetic god?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-05-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
(26-05-2013 01:55 PM)Scully Wrote:  
(26-05-2013 12:02 PM)Scully Wrote:  My mother found the misogyny quite distasteful too, although she rationalized it as being part of the original curse on Eve, where men were granted the privilege of dominating women, and she decided that it was her lot in life to take those lumps like a good little martyr so that eventually she could "Live Forever In Paradise On Earth".

I need to clarify this. My father never raised a hand or his voice to my mother. The misogyny was solely from the point of view of the doctrine whereby women were expected to "be in submission" to their husbands.

In the JW organizational structure, women are not allowed to offer public prayer or teach from the platform. When in a private setting (for example, when conducting a bible study where an unbaptized male JW is present) the baptized JW female must cover her head, usually with a handkerchief or scarf, but a kleenex will do. If there is a baptized male present, even if he's a minor child, he is considered to be capable of "taking the lead" and the baptized JW female is expected to defer to him. (And then, ironically, she gets to drive him home because he isn't old enough to have a driver's licence! LMAO!)

My mom's parents are strict baptists, and this sort of misogyny is similar. In fact, it's obvious that it's a major reason that my mother is so quiet and seemingly timid when I know for a fact that she's an opinionated woman.

Even my dad the preacher has stated that he will not stay there overnight again while visiting due to the overwhelming psychological abuse, backhanded insults and just plain meanness that just naturally emanates from my grandfather. Although I'm quite certain there was never any physical abuse.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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27-05-2013, 05:29 AM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
My parents are both atheists and they raised me as such, I live in Belgium so it's not a big deal. I've had moments I wanted to believe in God when I was a kid but I just couldn't convince myself that there is a God. I remember when I was 6 or 7 and the religion teacher in my elementary school wanted to talk to me, asking me why I don't believe and I just responded with "It doesn't make any sense", can't remember the details of it as it's almost 20 years ago. I loved watching programs about the universe and nature. There was a moment I was watching a typical american sensational tv program in the style of "omg carchases, god stuff, shoot out and explosions!" and it was about a group of people who gathered in a field because they saw maria and one of them showed a clear picture of maria in the clouds and claiming he took it 5 minutes ago. My mother was quick to tell me to change the channel, I was quite confused about it, it's clear evidence that there's a God but why wasn't it world news then? Apparently the US media loves to lie about those things, no wonder they're so religious there. Srsly, wtf is up with those sensational programs that just lie to people, that shit wouldn't fly here.

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27-05-2013, 06:39 AM
RE: Your (Ir)Religious Upbringing
My parents were both Roman Catholic until I was 3 in which they converted to Born Again Christian. Since then, I grew up in a very strict religious family. Being the only child, all the focus was on me. I was in the church children's choir, I attend youth meetings, fastings, Bible studies etc. This made me embrace the religion in my family. The only bitter part about it was that I was limited to doing things so that they can avoid me from the "influence of worldly people". I cannot join field trips, campings. I was not allowed to hang out with my friends even in a mall or at their house. After school, I must immediately return home. If I wanna go somewhere, they must be with me or we should go together. The only thing I SHOULD enjoy is going to church and being in the presence of god. I missed a lot during my younger years because of limits and restrictions put on me because of my parent's religious beliefs. It was only until I became an atheist did I realize that it took a lot away from me. I was even almost like an introvert because I don't know how to make friends because during at breaks in school, my mom is there with me. She's the one who I can(must) hang out with, except for friends that she approved of. I cannot make friends without having my mom introduce some to me.

That's how it affected my life. How sad eh?
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